Rajeev Ravi is an Indian cinematographer, director and film producer who graduated from FTI India, Pune in 1997. He debuted as an independent cinematographer with the film Chandni Bar (2001) Ravi is known for his collaboration with director Anurag Kashyap such as Dev D, Gangs of Wassipur etc…In 2013, he received the National Film Award for Best Cinematography in his work for Liar’s Dice. Rajeev debuted as a director with the film Annayum Rasoolum in 2013.
“Cinema is a kind of language that I have learnt to express, says Rajeev Ravi, a renowned cinematographer in the Indian film industry. At times, cinema can be used as a powerful weapon. However, at the moment, it is an established industry in the country.
Rajeev was present at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) for an interactive session with the students of Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication. Talking about his experiences with Anurag Kashyap, the famous film director, Rajeev said that he misses working with Anurag. For, they both do not believe in creating a space and then shooting it. According to Rajeev, unlike other directors Anurag provides space to actors for improvisation. As far as his role as a director and cinematographer is concerned, Rajeev tries to make the actors comfortable. If the actors are comfortable then they are more likely to perform better.
Budding actors from the Department of Theatre Arts were inquisitive about the treatment that is meted out to newcomers in the industry. This query was answered by the cinematographer in a jovial manner. He said that the approach should be to make them comfortable on screen and not scare them.
He cited examples of movies like ID, Njaan Steve Lopez and Annayum Rasoolum where he was involved as a director and producer. When asked about his experience with cinematography, he told the students that documentary is the best way to learn cinematography. If given a choice between director and cinematographer, Rajeev would love to call himself a cinematographer.
Talking about his style that is unique to him, Rajeev said that he likes to underplay emotions in his films. “Acting is supposed to be a behavior in cinema. One need not necessarily ‘show’ emotions,” he reiterated. For him, whether it is a documentary or a commercial movie, right emotion has to be portrayed on screen. A good cinematographer is one who is able to bring out the emotion clearly through the narrative, he added.
Saumya Painuli, MA – Communication